Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera: An Insider's History of the Florida-Alabama Coast (Paperback)

Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera: An Insider's History of the Florida-Alabama Coast By III Jackson, Harvey H. Cover Image
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The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera traces the development of the Florida-Alabama coast as a tourist destination from the late 1920s and early 1930s, when it was sparsely populated with "small fishing villages," through to the tragic and devastating BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010.

Harvey H. Jackson III focuses on the stretch of coast from Mobile Bay and Gulf Shores, Alabama, east to Panama City, Florida--an area known as the "Redneck Riviera." Jackson explores the rise of this area as a vacation destination for the lower South's middle- and working-class families following World War II, the building boom of the 1950s and 1960s, and the emergence of the Spring Break "season." From the late sixties through 1979, severe hurricanes destroyed many small motels, cafes, bars, and early cottages that gave the small beach towns their essential character. A second building boom ensued in the 1980s dominated by high-rise condominiums and large resort hotels. Jackson traces the tensions surrounding the gentrification of the late 1980s and 1990s and the collapse of the housing market in 2008. While his major focus is on the social, cultural, and economic development, he also documents the environmental and financial impacts of natural disasters and the politics of beach access and dune and sea turtle protection.

The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera is the culmination of sixteen years of research drawn from local newspapers, interviews, documentaries, community histories, and several scholarly studies that have addressed parts of this region's history. From his 1950s-built family vacation cottage in Seagrove Beach, Florida, and on frequent trips to the Alabama coast, Jackson witnessed the changes that have come to the area and has recorded them in a personal, in-depth look at the history and culture of the coast.

A Friends Fund Publication.

About the Author

HARVEY H. JACKSON III is Eminent Scholar in History at Jacksonville State University. His many books include Lachlan McIntosh and the Politics of Revolutionary Georgia (Georgia), Rivers of History: Life on the Coosa, Tallapoosa, Cahaba, and Alabama, and Inside Alabama: A Personal History of My State.

Praise For…

"Hardy Jackson writes about the Redneck Riviera with an insight and love that makes you want to travel back in time and stick your toes in the sands of its history. He makes you want to splash in the water when it was still clear, and sway in a hammock before condominiums eclipsed the sky. He makes you want to shake hands with the pirates and reprobates who once roamed here, in a time when it was apparently perfectly legal to shoot your ex-wife as long as you warned her not to come within shooting range. This is more than a history of a place and its brushes with disaster—the BP spill—and its changing social landscape. It is a story of a coast and a man's relationship with it. Those of us who have stared into that blue-green water have waited on this book for a long time."—Rick Bragg, author of The Prince of Frogtown

"This is a splendid social history, and Hardy Jackson, a native son of the coastal South, was born to write it. His witty prose combines the rigor of the trained scholar, the sharp eye of a journalist, and the unsentimental affection of a skilled memoirist. The result is the best guide yet to a geographic region that is also a cultural state of mind. I had as much fun reading it as I had on my first trip to Panama City Beach circa 1948."—Howell Raines, author of My Soul Is Rested

"Harvey Jackson’s Redneck Riviera is pure delight. From the Gilded Age resort hotels and the first mom 'n' pop motels, to Spring Break, mullet-tossing contests, and the 2010 Gulf oil spill, Jackson chronicles the booms and busts that have shaped his beloved Gulf Coast. He has the keen detachment of a historian and the passion of someone who cares deeply about sand dunes and honky-tonk bars."—Gary R. Mormino, Frank E. Duckwall professor of Florida history, University of South Florida St. Petersburg

"Even if you're not a redneck, you will want to go to the Alabama coastline when you read Harvey H. Jacksons III's new book, The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera. . . . If there was ever a person that could tell the personal and historical story of the Redneck Riviera, it's Jackson, Eminent Scholar in History at Jacksonville State University."—Theresa Shadrix, The Jacksonville News

"Whether or not you have an attachment to the Gulf Coast, you'll find much that is interesting and entertaining in The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera. . . . Mr. Jackson's personal perspective enhances rather than interferes with his analysis, and his lucid, often pithy writing makes this book an engaging read."—Ray Hartwell, The Washington Times

"Reared in Clarke County, Ala., chasing 'submarines and alligators' along the Alabama River and whiling summers away on the Florida Panhandle, Jackson is as far from a tweedy academic as it is possible to imagine. He looks good in shorts, T-shirt and flip-flops, glories in offshore fishing, and loves the Flora-Bama with a passion to match that of any bubba. And, man, can he write. If after finishing this beer-soaked and sand-whipped tour de force you don't find yourself heading to the beach, check your pulse."—John Sledge, Mobile Press-Register

"Hardy Jackson brings to this job all the right tools. . . . [H]e can personalize history, narrate history in a highly readable fashion and commit sociology in the best possible way, from personal experience and keen observation. . . . It is all here. Some chapters generate nostalgia, some anger, fear and loathing. All chapters can educate us and make readers think about what they value most..."—Don Noble, Alabama Public Radio

"The most endangered species native to Florida's Panhandle and Alabama's Gulf Coast might just be the redneck. . . . The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera is a fun romp through a place that has long been dedicated to fun but it also dips its toes into the cultural conflicts the region has experienced--a bit history, a bit social commentary and a good read."—Susannah Nesmith, Miami Herald

Product Details
ISBN: 9780820345314
ISBN-10: 0820345318
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Publication Date: March 1st, 2013
Pages: 334
Language: English

How to read more

( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.


And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.


15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.


50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.


Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.


Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.


Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.



Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.


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